Judd Trump won seven out of the last eight frames to come from behind and beat Liang Wenbo 10-8 in the first round of the World Championship on Thursday.
The former world no.1 looked in desperate trouble when he lost the first frame of the second session to trail 7-3 but launched a gritty fight back to deny the Chinese no.2.
It wasn’t vintage Trump by any stretch of the imagination but his resilience and ability to win frames even when he wasn’t scoring heavily is testament to how good his chances are this year of lifting a maiden world crown.
After winning three frames in a row to reduce his arrears to just to one frame at the mid-session interval, Trump tweeted “drinks on me if I get out of jail here.”
And after claiming four out of the next five frames upon the match’s resumption to seal the turnaround victory, true to his word, the China Open champion put a £200 tab behind the bar at the nearby Graduate for fans to revel in.
Trump’s next challenge is an equally mouthwatering prospect against another Chinese competitor, this time Ding Junhui.
The pair have previous at the Crucible, with Trump getting the better of the 11-time ranking event winner in the 2011 semi-finals as well as in last year’s quarter-finals.
It promises to be a barnstorming clash between two of the game’s heaviest scorers and whoever manages to emerge successfully will surely have the confidence necessary to go on and seriously challenge for the title.
Meanwhile, the final match in the last 32 saw Kyren Wilson narrowly overcome Joe Perry in a 10-9 decider.
In a topsy-turvy tie in which the lead interchanged on many occasions, Shanghai Masters champion Wilson held his nerve the better in the last frame shoot-out to book a place in the last 16 against Mark Allen.
A key moment arrived in the 16th frame when Perry looked set to go 9-7 in front only for his qualifier opponent to construct an excellent clearance to level proceedings once more.
Despite an extremely tense finale, it was the less-experienced Wilson who managed to win his first ever World Championship encounter.
Elsewhere, the second round also got under way on the sixth day of action at the Crucible.
Ali Carter and Marco Fu both boast 5-3 advantages over Scots Alan McManus and Anthony McGill respectively, with two further sessions to be played in the upgraded best of 25s.